You do not necessarily need to shuck oysters like a pro. As long as you can get them out of their shells and enjoy them later, you got the job done. However, you need to do it carefully. Practically you could use any knife to shuck oysters. But finding the best oyster knife on the market will bring in better results and more importantly, save you from hurting yourself.
On the other hand, efficiency is another major point to consider. Use a random knife and while it might work, it will be extremely frustrating. Using a specialized knife is the best way to go. There is, indeed, a technique to do it right, but a little practice will turn you into an expert.
Now, what are the top-rated oyster knives on the market? Here is everything you need to know before deciding on one product or another.
2020’s 5 Best Oyster Knives
Quality materials – Dexter-Russell does not fool around when it comes to quality standards. This unit features high carbon and high alloy dexsteel, which will resist stains. Moreover, this material is likely to resist rust and corrosion as well.
Safety first – Safety is always an issue when it comes to oysters. They are overlooked, but they are difficult to deal with. Your first attempts will be quite frustrating and you risk injuring yourself. This knife comes with a new haven pattern, as well as a safe handle that does not slip. There is no guard though, but even if your hand slips, the worst thing that might happen is striking the oyster.
Sizing standards – You do not need a sword to open an oyster. From this point of view, this knife has a 2.75-inch blade. You could find it in a slightly longer alternative as well, but this size is optimal for oysters and will get the job done. The handle is a bit longer – 6.75 inches. Other than that, the knife is lightweight and comfy to use for hours – around two ounces in weight.
Maintenance – Looking after this knife is relatively simple. Simply hand wash it, then dry it before storage. While it looks safe for the dishwasher, the manufacturer does not recommend it, so it is better to simply wash it by hand. As you go through others’ reviews, you will notice some users clean it in the dishwasher. Based on its build and design, it should be alright.
Operation and efficiency – Whether you are upgrading from a flat screwdriver or another type of knife, you will notice a slight difference in this model. The tip is slightly bent – probably not even noticeable. However, this design adds a bit of leverage and helps in the process. You will be able to open oysters – especially the large ones – much easier.
Convenience – The knife is suitable for all kinds of oysters. It is mostly recommended to medium and small oysters though. It can, however, open large oysters without too much hassle, yet you might need to work a bit harder. After all, most chefs recommend a slightly longer blade if you plan to open really large oysters.
- Durable design and materials that will last for ages
- Little to no maintenance – just avoid dishwashers
- Lightweight and comfortable to hold due to the nonslip handle
- Can take any abuse you throw at it, even against stubborn oysters
- Stubborn oysters may still have your wet hands slip a little
Rockland Guard Oyster Shucking Set
Full set – While some chefs do not rely on the whole set, not even the gloves, this set is ideal for those who do it at home. Even if you are a professional, a bit of protection can help against unexpected situations. All in all, this set from Rockland Guard brings in a set of professional gloves, as well as the best oyster knife from this brand.
Diversity – The knife is suitable for all types of oysters. Its blade measures 3.5 inches. In other words, it is better for medium oysters, but its size makes it great for really large and stubborn oysters too. There are smaller options of this knife for really small oysters, yet you might as well try your luck with this one.
Durable materials – Materials will tell you whether or not a particular knife can survive the test of time. Luckily, this unit is based on stainless steel. It can resist rust and corrosion, but it will also keep stains away. The handle features an easy grip. It is less likely to slip out of your hands, with or without the gloves.
Comfortable – While often overlooked, comfort is a top priority when it comes to oysters. This is because you are less likely to do a couple of them. Instead, you will do dozens, whether you do them for your family or a little party. This is what makes comfort a priority. Luckily, the gloves will not put a strain on your hands, while the knife handle makes this venture a breeze.
Maintenance – Gloves have a solid EN388 level five cut resistance. It is the highest level material available in this industry. You can also use them for other tasks that involve knives. They are also available in more sizes and they are machine washable. As for the knife, you can do it in a dishwasher.
- Comfortable handle based on rubber
- Easy to keep the set clean
- Comes in a full set with protective gloves
- Extremely durable materials for both the gloves and the knife
- Gloves must be air-dried, so avoid using a tumbler
Toadfish Put ‘Em Back TFOYSTKN-TEAL – Heavy-duty oyster knife
Ergonomics – When it comes to oyster shucking, ergonomics is essential for comfort and safety. Luckily, Toadfish has already thought about it. This unit feels like an extension of your hand. It features a thump print handle to ensure you have full control of the blade. At the same time, the handle features a nonslip surface.
Durable – Materials often make the difference. You can tell whether or not a knife will last by looking at its materials, especially when it comes to a knife dealing with oysters. The blade is made of Japanese high carbon stainless steel, which resists rust and corrosion. The tip is slightly bent, so you get some more leverage.
Versatile – The knife is versatile and can be used to shuck lots of different types of oysters. However, given its size, it is not recommended for massive Gulf Coast oysters. The blade measures three inches in length, which is more than enough for both small and middle-sized oysters.
Environmentally friendly – While not everyone cares about this aspect, it is worth noting that Toadfish is fully dedicated to the industry. Every shucker sold implies planting more oyster habitat around the world. Moreover, the handle is made from recycled materials. It is durable and comfortable to hold.
Maintenance – There is not much to do in terms of maintenance. If the knife feels loose with time, you can use 2.5-millimeter Allen wrenches to tighten it. As for cleaning it, hand washing is always better than a dishwasher. There are no clear instructions from the manufacturer, but many users claim great results in the dishwasher.
- Perfect size for both small and medium oysters
- Made from durable materials
- Easy to keep clean
- Thumb support and nonslip grip
- Not suitable for very large oysters
Reputable quality – You could never go wrong with a Victorinox knife, be it a chef’s knife or an oyster shucker. This product makes no exception either. It carries the high-quality standards associated with Victorinox, whether it comes to durability, materials, or sizing. It is also available in a few different sizes, with the new haven model being the most popular one.
Superior handle – The handle often makes the difference when shucking oysters and for some good reasons. You deal with hard and stubborn oysters, so you need a great grip. The unit is ergonomic and comfortable, whether you shuck 10 or 100 oysters. It also features a slip-resistant surface, even when your hands are wet or sweaty.
Durable blade – The blade is one of the most important factors in the process. Most people judge the quality of a knife based on nothing but the blade. The best oyster knife from Victorinox is less likely to disappoint then. It is made of high carbon steel. The steel can face the test of time, it is flexible and will resist corrosion and rust.
Sizing standards – You need a relatively small blade for oysters, as well as a slightly longer handle. This knife comes with a 2.75-inch blade. It is slightly curved for more leverage. As for the handle, it measures four inches. The ratio is perfect – you get a good ratio, as well as extra power due to the smaller blade.
Care and maintenance – Most knives from Victorinox must be washed manually and never in a dishwasher. This one is different. You can throw it into the dishwasher with no problems whatsoever. At the same time, you can also clean it manually. The tip is ultra-resistant and it is the only thing you will usually abuse, so it will not require sharpening.
- The compact appearance that brings in lots of leverage
- Great handle – comfortable and with a nonslip surface
- Durable and rust-resistant blade
- Can be cleaned in a dishwasher
- Blade a bit too short for super large oysters, but it is still doable
Oxo Oyster Knife – Cheap Oyster Knife
Durable materials – When you deal with hard things like oysters, you want a blade that you can rely on. You do not want the tip to snap in the middle of the action. Oxo has brought in a stainless steel blade. It is a bit thicker than the average for this price segment, meaning it is less likely to quit on you too soon.
Reliability – You need a blade that you can always rely on. Plus, unless you are experienced with oysters, chances are you might struggle a little. The tip is slightly bent. Once it goes inside the shell, the bent tip gives you a bit of extra leverage. Apart from making the job easier, it adds to the durability as well.
Soft handle – The handle is made from a soft plastic and rubber combination. It is comfortable and will not put any strain on your palms. It will not slip either, even if your hands are wet or sweaty. The part closest to the blade is shaped like a guard, so you have some support for the thumb too.
Maintenance – Most experts do not recommend cleaning specialized knives in dishwashers, as they may get a bit dull. The good news is you do not need the blade too much. Therefore, this knife is safe to clean in the dishwasher. Simply toss it in. You can also rinse and clean it manually.
Sizing standards – Whether you need to open a few oysters for yourself or you prepare dinner for your entire family, the knife is easy to use and can manage a comfy experience. It weighs around 1.5 ounces. Overall, it measures 6.75 inches. The blade is about three inches in length.
- Comfortable handle design to support the thumb
- Nonslip handle, even when wet
- Bent tip for more leverage and durability
- Easy to clean in the dishwasher
- Handle could have been a bit thicker for a better grip
Frequently Asked Questions on Oyster Knives
Can I use an oyster knife for clams?
A clam knife has a flat and thin blade. The oyster knife is slightly different. It has a shorter blade, but it also feels sturdier. The tip is pointed, as it needs to go through the shell hinge to open it. Ideally, you should use a clam knife for clams, but an oyster knife could also work.
What can I use instead of an oyster knife?
Flathead screwdrivers are similar to oyster knives. However, the tip is not that sharp. You can still use one to open oysters if you do not have a specialized knife, only the job will be a bit more difficult when breaking through the hinge. If you have more screwdrivers around your home, go for the shortest one. It will provide more flexibility and a safer grip.
Should an oyster knife be sharp?
Oyster knives are supposed to have a relatively sharp tip. It does not have to be razor-sharp, but you need a pointy tip to break through the hinge. The blade, on the other hand, does not need to be sharp. It can go through the muscle without being razor-sharp.
How long does it take to shuck an oyster?
It depends on the tool you have, as well as your experience. Generally speaking, an average individual can shuck an oyster between 30 and 60 seconds. The more experience you have, the faster it goes. Experienced people can shuck oysters within 10 or 15 seconds only.
Can I cook oysters without shucking them?
Yes. Some people prefer their oysters opened before cooking, meaning they have to shuck them first. You can also cook them first. There are more options. For instance, you can chuck them on the grill and cook them. Their shells will pop open when the oysters are done, so you can skip the shucking process.
As long as you get an oyster knife from a reputable brand with lots of positive reviews, you should be alright. The more experienced you become, the easier it becomes to find the perfect oyster knife to match your shucking style. As for newbies, any of the above-mentioned knives will get the job done.